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Free the McDonough Ten (Speed)

We would applaud McDonough being allowed to bike to work.

This post is by Andy Clarke, the president of the League of American Bicyclists. It’s crossposted on the League’s blog.

News has been filtering in for days about the appointment of Denis McDonough to be President Obama’s new chief of staff.

We’ve been paying particular attention because he lives not far from the League’s own Scott Williams in Takoma Park. In fact, they are passing acquaintances…i.e., McDonough usually passes Scott on his bike ride to work.

McDonough’s appointment was made official late last week, along with the shocking news that the new chief of staff may not be able to continue riding his bike to work. That, according to President Obama, “probably isn’t allowed.”

The League’s office is only a couple of blocks from the White House and we haven’t banned Scott from riding to work—so we don’t think it’s the distance or lack of a decent route that’s the issue. And I am sure Scott would offer to ride along with Denis in their own little bike train, if that would make the difference; we can be flexible with Scott’s hours, Mr. President.

Along with our colleagues at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, we’re sure the cycling community can come up with the top ten reasons why Denis should be allowed to ride his bike to work, including:

  • The fitness of his security detail will set a new standard for the entire White House
  • He’ll never get stuck in traffic in times of emergency
  • There’s always plenty of bike parking space on the White House railings
  • He’ll never have to leave a critical security briefing “because my carpool is leaving now”
  • Didn’t you sign an Executive Order on Sustainability that encourages this sort of thing?

Help us round out the top ten by posting in the comments below or sharing your ideas on Twitter using the hashtag #letdenisride.

Photo via the White House blog


Steven Chu and Ray LaHood have done it, why can't he?


 @bikepedantic Actually - I think they put a quick end to Sec. Chu commuting by bike. IIRC, he expressed frustration about it at the time, but decision was out of his hands. I know that Sec. LaHood rides recreationally - didn't realize that he commuted too. @bikepedantic  


 @Bilsko  @bikepedantic  @bikepedantic 

That's right, I read an interview describing how Secretary Chu had to stop his  commute (year round, I believe) because the Secret Service wouldn't allow it.  I believe Secretary LaHood rode in one day on Bike to Work Day.  Although I can if that's definitively the case, I could see the SS allowing a one day exception.


 @mdcullen83  @Bilsko  don't sweat it, i know that both of their commutes were one-off events (i actually helped organize one of them). Intended unsuccessfully as a tongue-in-cheek suggestions

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